Greater North Fulton Chamber Announces 2023 Businesswomen of Excellence Award Winners

Staff Report

Thursday, March 30th, 2023

The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce (GNFCC) celebrated the winners of the 2023 North Fulton Businesswomen of Excellence Awards at the Women INfluencing Business Annual Luncheon on Tuesday, March 28. The awards are given annually to women who demonstrate vision by bringing innovative ideas into action in both the workplace and community. 

The 2023 Businesswomen of Excellence Award Winners: 

Woman of Excellence - Living Legacy

The Living Legacy award was presented to Freda Hardage, Community Liaison for Northside Hospital. Hardage has been a successful presence in Johns Creek for many years. Her accomplishments through service projects, community leadership, and her 41-year career at Northside Hospital have reached throughout the region. For the past 21 years, Hardage managed the Alpharetta Campus for Northside Hospital’s outpatient services. As former Director, Foundation Services and Alpharetta Medical Campus, she oversaw the hospital’s philanthropy and community initiatives as well as managed the Alpharetta campus. She continues to set the tone for giving back with her involvement in the community, serving on the boards of MARTA, The Drake House, and the Greater North Fulton Chamber.

Woman of Excellence - Rising Star Award

The Rising Star award was presented to Toseima Jiles, owner and founder of CAI Business Group. Jiles’ business, CAI Business Group, collaborates with company leaders to host workshops that help increase profits for businesses through performing arts. In addition to growing her creative business, Toseima serves as a Chamber diplomat, a television network owner, producer, blog writer, author, and multiple other roles in the community. She is passionate about her volunteer work with Revved Up Kids, Atlanta Workshop Players, Dance FX, Eagles Nest Church, North Point Church, and several other organizations.

Woman of Excellence - Nonprofit 

The Woman of Excellence - Nonprofit award was presented to Karen Cashion, President and CEO of Tech Alpharetta. Cashion has been a practicing lawyer for 20 years and spearheaded the conversion of the co-working space at the Innovation Center into a full startup incubator and grew it to 56 startups within 12 months. Her contributions allowed Tech Alpharetta to successfully graduate 20 startups from the tech startup incubator – businesses that have created nearly 1,200 new jobs for the city of Alpharetta, and a total of nearly 2,000 new jobs for the state of Georgia. 

Woman of Excellence - Small Business

The Woman of Excellence - Small Business award was presented to Lara Dolan, Partner with Ansley Real Estate – Craft Dolan Team. Dolan is a real estate agent who specializes in residential properties and is also an Accredited New Homes Selling Expert and Accredited Luxury Homes Sales specialist. Dolan is President of the Alpharetta Business Association, a founding Co-Chair of Alpharetta’s landmark Shamrockin’ for a Cure, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), and a member of the CFF Volunteer Board. She is a founding board member of the Milton Business Council and volunteers for the city of Milton’s First Responders Foundation. 

Woman of Excellence – Large Business

The Woman of Excellence - Large Business award was presented to Laura Madajewski, Principal at HLB Gross Collins, P.C.Madajewski is the practice leader for one of her firm’s largest industry segments – Manufacturing, Distribution and Supply Chain and also has a deep specialization working with nonprofit organizations. In addition to leading her practice area, she is a member of the firm's Nonprofit & Foundation Practice team where she focuses on governance, advisory training, and education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater North Fulton Chamber, The Drake House, and the Georgia River Network; on the Advisory Board for Golf For the Kids; and as both president and treasurer for the Sanctuary at Rivermont Community Association.

The awards were presented at the Chamber’s Wellstar Monthly Luncheon Series on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. The Businesswomen of Excellence Awards are sponsored by Bank of America, and the Women INfluencing Business program is sponsored by Verizon.